Michael Jackson's Sonic 3

 Background
In 2005, hxc interviewed Roger Hector, a man who used to work for SEGA, as the Director of the SEGA Technical Institute, also known as STI.

In this interview hxc asked a simple question: "Which of those was your favorite project?", but I don't think he could have anticipated the answer:

Sonic 3 (also called Sonic & Knuckles) was a lot of fun, but it was also very difficult. Michael Jackson was originally brought in to compose all the music for the game, but at the very end, his work was dropped after his scandals became public. This caused a lot of problems and required a lot of reworking. But the game turned out great in the end.

Michael Jackson was brought in to compose the music for Sonic 3! This lead people to start looking for links between Michael Jackson's music and the music of Sonic 3.

 The Documentary
Before you read any more, I suggest you watch the documentary which I created in March 2006 which shows some of the links between the music, as this page is sort of like an accompaniment for it.
Image:Download.png DOWNLOAD
AVI version (46.6MB), requires xvid.
WATCH
Video on YouTube.
However since the documentary was made there have been a number of revelations, namely concerning the involvement of the composers.
 Song Comparisons
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Credits vs Stranger in Moscow (1996)
This striking similarity was first pointed out by Shade shortly after it was found out that Michael Jackson worked on Sonic 3's music. It's the strongest link out of all the musical similarities because it features similar instrumentation and an almost identical chord progression, not to mention they just sound like each other!


Michael Jackson - Stranger In Moscow (Full)


SEGA - Sonic 3 Credits (Full)

Using the 5.1 mix of Stranger of Moscow from the HIStory DVD James Mac also created this instrumental version of the song, which allows you to hear the similarities without the distraction of vocals:
Stranger In Moscow Instrumental [Official By Mack]

Carnival Night Zone vs Jam (1992)
This small similarity between Carnival Night Zone and Jam was spotted by Ben2k9 before any link between MJ and Sonic 3 was known, and people like ICEKnight have claimed that it's such an obvious similarity it can't really be credited to anyone.


Michael Jackson - Jam (Full)


SEGA - Carnival Night Zone Act 1 (Full)

Ice Cap Zone vs Who Is It (1992) vs Smooth Criminal (1987)
The similarity between Ice Cap Zone and Who Is It was observed by Dioxaz, and at the time was accused of simply "hopping on the bandwagon", especially as you have to speed up Who Is It to really hear a similarity. Who Is It doesn't really sound like Ice Cap in it's melody or harmony, more just in it's texture.
In the Moonwalker version of Smooth Criminal, there is a section which has strikingly similar chords to Ice Cap, which, like Stranger in Moscow, was pointed out to me by Shade.


Michael Jackson - Who Is It (Full)


SEGA - Ice Cap Zone Act 1 (Full)


Smooth Criminal (Moonwalker Version)

 Sonic 3 Sample Analysis
After ripping out all the DAC audio samples from the game, a few startling clips were found. Even though a lot of the samples sound "MJ-style" anyway, there are some which can be directly linked to Michael Jackson songs.
Download Sonic 3 DAC Sample Pack


For this comparison, I increased the sample rate of the clip to 13.5khz.
 Sonic 3 Composers
The nail in the coffin as far as Michael Jackson's involvement. *to be continued*

This site is part of the Sonic Stuff Research Group.